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Israeli forces extend Muhammad al-Qiq’s interrogation for another 8 days

Jan. 28, 2017 10:26 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 29, 2017 7:54 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities have ordered Palestinian journalist and former long-term hunger striker Muhammad al-Qiq to eight more days in interrogation after being redetained earlier this month.

Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun reported Friday that the Israeli military court at Ofer detention center near Ramallah ordered the extension on Thursday, according to al-Qiq’s family.

Al-Qiq was detained by Israeli forces earlier this month after participating in a protest in Bethlehem held to demand the release of bodies of slain Palestinians held in Israeli custody.

Local sources reported on Wednesday that Israeli forces also summoned his wife for interrogation.

According to Samidoun, Israeli authorities have not garnered confessions or issued charges against al-Qiq, although they earlier expressed that they were investigating him for alleged “incitement” on social media, amid a crackdown on freedom of expression among Palestinian activists and journalists.

Al-Qiq has pledged that he would launch a hunger strike if he was again ordered to administrative detention -- Israel’s widely condemned policy of internment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence.

The 34-year-old journalist, who lives in Ramallah and is originally from Dura in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, was released from Israeli prison on May 19, 2016, after a grueling 94-day hunger strike that brought him near death.

Al-Qiq’s imprisonment -- widely condemned by the United Nations, Amnesty International, and other rights groups -- and his subsequent hunger strike directed a spotlight on Israel’s use of administrative detention, its arbitrary imprisonment of Palestinians, and the concerted targeting of Palestinian journalists.
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